Vegetable Stew with Juniper Berries

What are Juniper Berries and why are they wonderful for our gut?

Juniper berries have been used since ancient Egyptian and Greek times for their medicinal healing properties. These strongly scented herbs are mostly found growing in Europe, North America, and even Asia. Although the name and look of a Juniper Berry can resemble a sweet, juicy berry similar to a blueberry, it is the opposite. Juniper berries are not like fruit at all, they actually have a tart, pine-like flavor and are mostly used for flavoring similar to the way we would use a spice.

These herbal berries are known for their high antioxidant levels and therapeutic healing properties. Juniper berries contain essential nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoid antioxidants, and volatile oils known as monoterpenes. Vitamin C is essential for immune health and aid in protecting your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Flavonoid antioxidants may help to promote health as they may protect against chronic conditions, including heart and neurodegenerative diseases. Monoterpenes have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.

Many use juniper berries to make a tea that may help to relieve gastrointestinal discomfort as well as to aid with the digestion process. Though human studies are lacking, it’s unclear what dosage is most effective to reap their medicinal benefits. Although this has been the case for years, juniper berries have been used to prevent and aid in diarrhea, decrease inflammation, and alleviate other abdominal disorders. The properties found in juniper berries may help prevent or aid in inflammatory conditions-- such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease-- or prevent free radicals in cells from causing more severe issues like colon cancer. On top of all the #GoodGut benefits, juniper berries can also be used in cooking for an added flavor of spice for all those that like a nice spicy meal!

Ways to Eat

Juniper Berries are mostly consumed dried and crushed. They can be steeped in hot water to make herbal tea. They are also able to be cooked with a food to create an herbal peppery flavor in a savory dish!

Recipe: Vegetable Stew with Juniper Berries

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Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 onions, diced

  • 1 leek, chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 parsnips, sliced

  • 2 carrots, sliced

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced

  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 2 Tbsp gluten free flour

  • 1 glass red wine

  • 2 liters vegetable stock

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 100 grams pearl barley

  • 8 mushrooms, sliced

  • 6 juniper berries, crushed

  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. In a heavy-based pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, leek, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring for 6-8 minutes or until softened and golden.

  2. Add parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring for a further 5 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add wine and stir until absorbed, then add stock and stir.

  5. Add thyme, bay leaf, pearl barley, mushrooms, and juniper berries.

  6. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 40 minutes).

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Vegetable Stew with Juniper Berries. (2017, February 15). Appetite magazine.

Kubala , J. (2019, September 30). 5 Emerging Benefits of Juniper Berries.

Christiansen, S. (2020, May 10). The Health Benefits of Juniper Berries. Verywell Health.

Kozioł, A., Stryjewska, A., Librowski, T., Sałat, K., Gaweł, M., Moniczewski, A., & Lochyński, S. (2014). An overview of the pharmacological properties and potential applications of natural monoterpenes. Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry, 14(14), 1156–1168.

Bais, S., Gill, S. N., Rana, N., and Shandil, S. (11 November 2014). A phytopharmacological review on a medical plant: Juniperus communis. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2014. doi: 10.1155/2014/634723.

Kbuala, J. (30 August 2019). 5 emerging benefits of juniper berries. Healthline,

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